Who We Are
I am passionate about mentoring and coaching individuals and teams across all organizational levels to cultivate the requisite mindsets and behaviors in order to optimize their full potential. Likewise, I am focused on collaboratively exploring innovative ways to delight customers by engaging the hearts and minds of employees and promoting a focus on continuous improvement to deliver significant operational and financial results aligned with organizational objectives. One of my favorite sayings is “reach for your head, not your wallet.”
Before joining the Co-Creation team, most of my career was spent in financial services organizations starting in Finance and then transitioning to a variety of strategic, operational, and transformational roles. I understand first-hand the frustrations associated with managing consultants who are focused on demonstrating their expertise and then moving on to their next client. Over 18 years ago, I pioneered lean thinking at Jefferson Pilot Financial (now Lincoln Financial Group) to provide top tier service to our premier partners while still providing excellent service to all customers without increasing expenses. Adopting lean tools enabled us to push our performance to new heights – sales increased over 60% in 2 years, turnaround times for new business improved between 70-84%, quality rates improved by 40%, and labor costs went down by 26%. Over time, I recognized that simply deploying tools to solve various business challenges was not enough to sustain the gains and create a learning organization. Specifically, I began partnering with leaders to transform them into effective teachers and coaches as they learned to ask the right questions rather than provide the right solutions.
Some of the key strategic initiatives I have led are detailed below:
- Engaged executive team and cross-functional employee teams in ground-up processes to enhance operational effectiveness. Yielded a 50-90% improvement in customer service processing time, reduced error rates by more than 50%, and generated operating savings of $13 million – exceeding plan by 55%.
- Offshored 450 positions from 40 departments to reduce processing times to less than one day (over 50% improvement) and enable on-shore teams to provide more high-touch, consultative services directly to customers.
Life Insurance Company
- Utilized value stream management and root cause analysis to achieve 58% improvement in turnaround time from receipt to issue for largest customer’s new business applications
- Implemented standard work, visual controls, and performance metrics – improving customer satisfaction by 23 points, with a corresponding increase in new sales of 16%.
- Partnered with executive management and Board of Directors to right-size workforce (35% reduction) and decrease annualized operating expenses by $110 million.
Fortune 250 Financial Services Company
- Reduced processing time by over 70% while shrinking inventory 90% by segregating complexity, pulling demand, and load balancing.
- Redesigned customer services processes and implemented new imaging and workflow system to reduce customer friction, improve operating metrics, and save more than $2 million annually (15% of operating costs).
- Performed root cause analysis on quality issues, resulting in error-rate reductions of 10-20 points.
- Designed and implemented new process flows and reallocated resources in the call center to reduce call wait times by over 75% and improve employee job satisfaction.
- Launched new mass affluent strategy within nine months after comprehensive review of market research, competitive environment, demographics, and financial analyses.
- Performed due diligence, analyzed financial impact, and identified/tracked achievement of synergy savings related to three acquisitions. Identified and achieved integration savings of more than $75 million on 4th
- Reengineered financial reporting process and implemented new reporting and analysis system, resulting in a 75% reduction in cycle time and significantly improved quality and accuracy.
Personally, I have experienced several significant transformations, including major career changes and adopting a daughter from China as a single mother. My love of travel has given me a deep appreciation for other cultures, shifted my thinking, and confirmed my belief that people are more alike than different. I am inspired by children – their natural curiosity, their zeal for asking questions, their ability to recognize waste, their willingness to try new ways of doing things, their eagerness to find new uses for simplest of objects, their enthusiasm for learning, and their ability to experience joy in everything they do.
I hold a B.B.A in Accounting from The University of Iowa and passed the C.P.A. exam. I obtained my M.B.A in Finance from Loyola College and have done graduate level work in Organizational Design and Development at Johns Hopkins University. In October 2003, I published an article in Harvard Business entitled “The Lean Service Machine” that describes my initial foray into applying process improvement tools typically used in manufacturing to achieve operational excellence in a financial services organization. I am certified in applying Prosci’s ADKAR Change Management approach. I have studied design thinking based upon the Stanford d.School and IDEO methodologies. For the past three years, I have been a volunteer mentor with Menttium.